Thursday, February 16, 2017

I belong to the blank generation

Richard Hell. He is now 67 years old.
It's just too hard to believe.
I followed a random train of internet links to this video of Johnny Thunders, whom you've probably not ever heard of. I only know who he is because an ex-boyfriend of mine was fascinated by the man, whose actual name was John Anthony Genzale Jr. and who died in 1991, which is pretty amazing, him living to be 39 when he was a notorious junkie. Although strangely enough he appears to have died of leukemia, rather than a drug overdose.

He was at one time in a band with Richard Hell but they clashed and Mr. Hell went onto record the immortal Blank Generation with The Voidoids.

Anyway, Thunders uses the term "douchebag" in the video which was recorded in 1984 and that prompted me to wonder when the term came into use as an insult. If I had to guess I would have said some time in the 1970s, but apparently it's been around for awhile, according to this article:

In the 1960s. The Historical Dictionary of American Slang traces the epithet douche to a 1968 collection of college slang compiled at Brown University, which defined the word as “a person who always does the wrong thing.” The insult douchebag is somewhat older. The 1939 novel Ninety Times Guilty includes a pimp named Jimmy Douchebag, and the Historical Dictionary of American Slang traces the epithetical usage to a 1946 journal article about military slang, which offered the definition “a military misfit.”

I think Jon Stewart probably did most to popularize it though. The term has always been hugely popular in New Jersey.